I read mostly non-fiction and anything about France. I enjoy edgy current fiction and historical fiction with magical twists.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAn enthralling tale of modern witch Bess Hawksmith, a fiercely independent woman desperate to escape her cursed history who must confront the evil which has haunted her for centuriesMy name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. If you will listen, I will tell you a tale of witches. A tale of magic and love and loss. A story of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be. Let me tell you what it means to be a witch. In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the Warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage, Gideon instructs Bess, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life. She has spent the centuries in solitude, moving from place to place, surviving plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality. Her loneliness comes to an abrupt end when she is befriended by a teenage girl called Tegan. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth opens her heart to Tegan and begins teaching her the ways of the Hedge Witch. But will she be able to stand against Gideon—who will stop at nothing to reclaim her soul—in order to protect the girl who has become the daughter she never had?Praise for The Witch’s Daughter“Lushly written with a fascinating premise and an enthralling heroine, The Witch’s Daughter will linger long in memory after the last page has been savored. Highly recommended.” -- Sara Poole, author of The Borgia Betrayal"A beautifully written, brilliantly crafted page-turner that completely invests you in the lives and loves of the witch's daughter. A true reading event." --Melissa Senate, author of The Love Goddess' Cooking School“A lyrical and spell-binding time travel fantasy featuring an immortal witch who must summon all her powers to defeat the evil hounding her through the centuries.” –Mary Sharratt, author of Daughters of the Witching Hill“With her first novel, author Paula Brackston conjures up a riveting tale of sorcery and time travel. By mixing feminine heroism with masculine might, Brackston successfully captivates readers with characters Bess, an immortal witch, and sinister dark lord, Gideon…. It's almost impossible not to root for the underdog in this magical twist on the classic David vs. Goliath tale. Plus, the skill with which Brackston weaves her characters through time makes this book a fascinating take on global history.” –Marie Claire"Brackston’s first novel offers well-crafted characters in an absorbing plot and an altogether delicious blend of historical fiction and fantasy." --Booklist"This pleasantly romantic historical fantasy debut flips lightly between the past experiences of ageless witch Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith and her present-day life in Matravers, England... Bess's adventures are fascinating." --Publishers Weekly“Stretching her tale over several centuries, British-based Brackston brings energy as well as commercial savvy to her saga of innocence and the dark arts…. History, time travel and fantasy combine in a solidly readable entertainment.” --Kirkus"An engaging, well-written novel that will appeal to fans of historical fiction and fantasy alike." --Portland Book Review"Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch’s Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of witches. Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak of immortality to stay true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love." --NightOwlReviews.com"The Witch’s Daughter is a wonderful combination of historical fiction and paranormal. Brackston’s story alternates between past and present as she mixes tales of Elizabeth’s early life with the present day, tying in historical events including Jack the Ripper and the horrors of WWI... Overall, a really enjoyable read." --BookBitch.com"Readers who enjoy historical fantasy built around an epic struggle between good and evil should enjoy this original take on the theme." --HistoricalNovels.info"An enjoyable read." --Genre Go Round Reviews "This tale spans centuries and walks the line between good and the darker side of magic. Magic and those who possess it have been feared and persecuted throughout most of human history. Find out what it is like to live for hundreds of years, mostly in solitude, and have to struggle with having the power to help people, but being afraid to use that power." --Affaire de Coeur“Women will certainly love the independent, feisty female characters, but the narrative is wonderfully imaginative and the plot fast-moving and filled with action. This novel is highly recommended for witches and warlocks alike.” –Historical Novel Society"The combination of stories from the past and the present meld nicely, and the author adds some clever twists so the reader never knows exactly from whom the next Gideon apparition will arise. Perhaps the best twist is the ending--leaving an opening for another book, but at the same time furnishing the reader with quite a satisfactory ending." --The National Examiner (UK)"Ambitious and thought-provoking, this book will lure you into vivid, visceral worlds where evil lurks at every turn. The beautifully crafted BOOK OF SHADOWS will be etched on my mind for a long time. What an action-packed, emotionally powerful film it would make too." Sally Spedding, author of STRANGERS WAITING"An unforgettable story by a highly original new writer." --Rebecca Tope, author of the Cotswold crime series
From the critically acclaimed author of Bloodroot, a gripping, wondrously evocative novel drawn from real-life historical events: the story of three days in the summer of 1936, as a government-built dam is about to flood an Appalachian town-and a little girl goes missing.A river called Long Man has coursed through East Tennessee from time immemorial, bringing sustenance to the people who farm along its banks and who trade between its small towns. But as Long Man opens, the Tennessee Valley Authority's plans to dam the river and flood the town of Yuneetah for the sake of progress-to bring electricity and jobs to the hardscrabble region-are about to take effect. Just one day remains before the river will rise, and most of the town has been evacuated. Among the holdouts is a young mother, Annie Clyde Dodson, whose ancestors have lived for generations on her mountaintop farm; she'll do anything to ensure that her three-year-old daughter, Gracie, will inherit the family's land. But her husband wants to make a fresh start in Michigan, where he has found work that will secure the family's future. As the deadline looms, a storm as powerful as the emotions between them rages outside their door. Suddenly, they realize that Gracie has gone missing. Has she simply wandered off into the rain? Or has she been taken by Amos, the mysterious drifter who has come back to town, perhaps to save it in a last, desperate act of violence? Suspenseful, visceral, gorgeously told, Long Man is a searing portrait of a tight-knit community brought together by change and crisis, and of one family facing a terrifying ticking clock. It is a dazzling and unforgettable tour de force.
From the best-selling author of The Dressmaker comes the warm-hearted and enthralling saga of a bold young woman caught between two worlds-the vibrant camaraderie of factory life and the opulence that a budding romance with the mill owner's son affords-as the murder of her best friend sends shock waves throughout the town.Determined to forge her own destiny, Alice Barrow joins the legions of spirited young women better known as the Mill Girls. From dawn until dusk, these ladies work the looms, but the thrill of independence, change in their pockets, and friendships formed along the way mostly make the backbreaking labor worthwhile. In fact, Hiram Fiske, the steely-eyed titan of industry, has banked on that. But the working conditions are becoming increasingly dangerous and after one too many accidents, Alice finds herself unexpectedly acting as an emissary to address the factory workers' mounting list of grievances.After traveling to the Fiske family's Beacon Hill mansion, Alice enters a world she's never even dared to dream about: exquisite silk gowns, sumptuous dinners, grand sitting parlors, and uniformed maids operating with an invisible efficiency. Of course, there's also a chilliness in the air as Alice presents her case. But with her wide, intelligent eyes and rosy-hued cheeks, Alice manages to capture the attention of Hiram's eldest son, the handsome and reserved Samuel Fiske.Their chemistry is undeniable, soon progressing from mutual respect and shy flirtation into an unforgettable romance. But when Alice's best friend, Lovey, is found strangled in a field, Alice and Samuel are torn between loyalty to "their kind" and a chance for true love.
Haya Tedeschi sits alone in Gorizia, north-eastern Italy, surrounded by a basket of photographs and newspaper clippings. Now an old woman, she waits to be reunited after sixty-two years with her son, fathered by an S.S. officer and stolen from her by the German authorities during the War as part of Himmler's clandestine 'Lebensborn' project, which strove for a 'racially pure' Germany. Haya's reflection on her Catholicized Jewish family's experiences deals unsparingly with the massacre of Italian Jews in the concentration camps of Trieste. Her obsessive search for her son leads her to photographs, maps and fragments of verse, to testimonies from the Nuremberg trials and interviews with second-generation Jews, as well as witness accounts of atrocities that took place on her doorstep. A broad collage of material is assembled, and the lesser-known horror of Nazi occupation in northern Italy is gradually unveiled. Written in immensely powerful language, and employing a range of astonishing conceptual devices, Trieste is a novel like no other. Dasa Drndic has produced a shattering contribution to the literature of our twentieth-century history.
Glamorized, mythologized and demonized - the women of the 1920s prefigured the 1960s in their determination to reinvent the way they lived. Flappers is in part a biography of that restless generation: starting with its first fashionable acts of rebellion just before the Great War, and continuing through to the end of the decade when the Wall Street crash signal led another cataclysmic world change. It focuses on six women who between them exemplified the range and daring of that generation’s spirit.Diana Cooper, Nancy Cunard, Tallulah Bankhead, Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Tamara de Lempicka were far from typical flappers. Although they danced the Charleston, wore fashionable clothes and partied with the rest of their peers, they made themselves prominent among the artists, icons, and heroines of their age. Talented, reckless and willful, with personalities that transcended their class and background, they re-wrote their destinies in remarkable, entertaining and tragic ways. And between them they blazed the trail of the New Woman around the world.
Remodelista.com is the go-to, undisputed authority for home design enthusiasts, remodelers, architects, and designers with disposable income. The antithesis to sites that cater to all tastes, Remodelista has a singular and clearly defined aesthetic: classic pieces trump designs that are trendy and transient, and well-edited spaces take precedence over cluttered environments. High and low mix seamlessly here, and getting the look need not be expensive (think Design Within Reach meets Ikea). Remodelista decodes the secrets to achieving this aesthetic, with in-depth tours and lessons from 12 enviable homes; a recipe-like breakdown of the hardest-working kitchens and baths; dozens of do-it-yourself projects; The Remodelista 100, a guide to the best everyday household objects; and an in-depth look at the ins and outs of the remodeling process. In a world of design confusion, Remodelista takes the guesswork out of the process.
From the proprietors of the renowned Brooklyn shop and cafe comes the ultimate pie-baking book for a new generation of bakers.Melissa and Emily Elsen, the twenty-something sisters who are proprietors of the wildly popular Brooklyn pie shop and cafe Four & Twenty Blackbirds, have put together a pie-baking book that's anything but humble. This stunning collection features more than 60 delectable pie recipes organized by season, with unique and mouthwatering creations such as Salted Caramel Apple, Green Chili Chocolate, Black Currant Lemon Chiffon, and Salty Honey. There is also a detailed and informative techniques section. Lavishly designed, FOUR & TWENTY BLACKBIRDS PIE BOOK contains 90 full-color photographs by Gentl & Hyers, two of the most sought-after food photographers working today.With its new and creative recipes, this may not be you mother's cookbook, but it's sure to be one that every baker from novice to pro will turn to again and again.
More than ninety percent of dog owners consider their pets to be members of their family. But often, despite our best intentions, we are letting our dogs down by not giving them the guidance and direction they need. Unwanted behavior is the number-one reason dogs are relinquished to shelters and rescue groups.The key to training dogs effectively is first to understand why our dogs do what they do. And no one can address this more authoritatively than the diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Behavior, whose work, the culmination of years of rigorous training, takes them deep into the minds of dogs in an effort to decode how they think, how they communicate, and how they learn.In Decoding Your Dog, these experts analyze problem behaviors, decipher the latest studies, and correct common misconceptions and outmoded theories. The book includes:• Effective, veterinary-approved positive training methods• Expert advice on socialization, housetraining, diet, and exercise• Remedies for behavior problems such as OCD and aggressionWith Decoding Your Dog the experts’ experts deliver a must-have dog behavior guide that ultimately challenge the way we think about our dogs.
Why is it that some of the greatest works of literature have been produced by writers in the grip of alcoholism, an addiction that cost them personal happiness and caused harm to those who loved them? In The Trip to Echo Spring, Olivia Laing examines the link between creativity and alcohol through the work and lives of six extraordinary men: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver. All six of these writers were alcoholics, and the subject of drinking surfaces in some of their finest work, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to A Moveable Feast. Often they did their drinking together - Hemingway and Fitzgerald ricocheting through the cafés of 1920s Paris; Carver and Cheever speeding to the liquor store in Iowa in the icy winter of 1973.Olivia Laing grew up in an alcoholic family herself. One spring, wanting to make sense of this ferocious, entangling disease, she took a journey across America that plunged her into the heart of these overlapping lives. As she travels from Cheever's New York to Williams' New Orleans, from Hemingway's Key West to Carver's Port Angeles, she pieces together a topographical map of alcoholism, from the horrors of addiction to the miraculous possibilities of recovery. Beautiful, captivating and original, The Trip to Echo Spring strips away the myth of the alcoholic writer to reveal the terrible price creativity can exert.
A collection of poignant essays about the transformative power of knitting by twenty-seven extraordinary writers.“The impressive collection of writers here have contributed essays that celebrate knitting and knitters. They share their knitting triumphs and disasters as well as their life triumphs and disasters…These essays will break your heart. They will have you laughing out loud.” —Ann Hood, from the introductionWhy does knitting occupy a place in the hearts of so many writers? What’s so magical and transformative about yarn and needles? How does knitting help us get through life-changing events and inspire joy? In Knitting Yarns, twenty-seven writers tell stories about how knitting healed, challenged, or helped them to grow. Barbara Kingsolver describes sheering a sheep for yarn. Elizabeth Berg writes about her frustration at failing to knit. Ann Patchett traces her life through her knitting, writing about the scarf that knits together the women she’s loved and lost. Knitting a Christmas gift for his blind aunt helped Andre Dubus III knit an understanding with his girlfriend. Kaylie Jones finds the woman who used knitting to help raise her in France and heals old wounds. Sue Grafton writes about her passion for knitting. Also included are five original knitting patterns created by Helen Bingham.Poignant, funny, and moving, Knitting Yarns is sure to delight knitting enthusiasts and lovers of literature alike.
With The Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen changed the way a generation cooked and brought vegetarian cuisine into the mainstream. In The Heart of the Plate, she completely reinvents the vegetarian repertoire, unveiling a collection of beautiful, healthful, and unfussy dishes — her “absolutely most loved.” Her new cuisine is light, sharp, simple, and modular; her inimitable voice is as personal, helpful, clear, and funny as ever. Whether it’s a salad of kale and angel hair pasta with orange chili oil or a seasonal autumn lasagna, these dishes are celebrations of vegetables. They feature layered dishes that juxtapose colors and textures: orange rice with black beans, or tiny buttermilk corn cakes on a Peruvian potato stew. Suppers from the oven, like vegetable pizza and mushroom popover pie, are comforting but never stodgy. Burgers and savory pancakes — from eggplant Parmesan burgers to zucchini ricotta cloud cakes — make weeknight dinners fresh and exciting. “Optional Enhancements” allow cooks to customize every recipe. The Heart of the Plate is vibrantly illustrated with photographs and original watercolors by the author herself.
Billy Moon was Christopher Robin Milne, the son of A. A. Milne, the world-famous author of Winnie the Pooh and other beloved children’s classics. Billy’s life was no fairy-tale, though. Being the son of a famous author meant being ignored and even mistreated by famous parents; he had to make his own way in the world, define himself, and reconcile his self-image with the image of him known to millions of children. A veteran of World War II, a husband and father, he is jolted out of midlife ennui when a French college student revolutionary asks him to come to the chaos of Paris in revolt. Against a backdrop of the apocalyptic student protests and general strike that forced France to a standstill that spring, Milne’s new French friend is a wild card, able to experience alternate realities of the past and present. Through him, Milne’s life is illuminated and transformed, as are the world-altering events of that year.
A collection of new and favorite poems, celebrating the dogs that have enriched the poet’s world Beloved by her readers, special to the poet’s own heart, Mary Oliver’s dog poems offer a special window into her world. Dog Songs collects some of the most cherished poems together with new works, offering a portrait of Oliver’s relationship to the companions that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. To be illustrated with images of the dogs themselves, the subjects will come to colorful life here. These are poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. In these pages we visit with old friends, including Oliver’s well-loved Percy, and meet still others. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver’s life emerge as fellow travelers, but also as guides, spirits capable of opening our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection.Dog Songs is a testament to the power and depth of the human-animal exchange, from an observer of extraordinary vision.
An inheritance from a mysterious stranger . . .An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank of Paris . . .And three exquisite perfumes that hold a memory . . . and a secretLondon, 1955: Grace Monroe is a fortunate young woman. Despite her sheltered upbringing in Oxford, her recent marriage has thrust her into the heart of London's most refined and ambitious social circles. However, playing the role of the sophisticated socialite her husband would like her to be doesn't come easily to her—and perhaps never will.Then one evening a letter arrives from France that will change everything. Grace has received an inheritance. There's only one problem: she has never heard of her benefactor, the mysterious Eva d'Orsey.So begins a journey that takes Grace to Paris in search of Eva. There, in a long-abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank, she discovers the seductive world of perfumers and their muses, and a surprising, complex love story. Told by invoking the three distinctive perfumes she inspired, Eva d'Orsey's story weaves through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London.But these three perfumes hold secrets. And as Eva's past and Grace's future intersect, Grace realizes she must choose between the life she thinks she should live and the person she is truly meant to be.Illuminating the lives and challenging times of two fascinating women, The Perfume Collector weaves a haunting, imaginative, and beautifully written tale filled with passion and possibility, heartbreak and hope.
It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe—a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the SS Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward and Iris Freleng, sophisticated, independently wealthy, bohemian, and beset by the social and sexual anxieties of their class. As Portugal’s neutrality, and the world’s future, hang in the balance, the hidden threads in the lives of these four characters—Julia’s status as a Jew, Pete and Edward’s improbable affair, Iris’s increasingly desperate efforts to save her tenuous marriage—begin to come loose. This journey will change their lives irrevocably, as Europe sinks into war.Gorgeously written, sexually and politically charged, David Leavitt’s long-awaited new novel is an extraordinary work.
This illustrated book vividly depicts the most endangered birds in the world and provides the latest information on the threats each species faces and the measures being taken to save them. Today, 571 bird species are classified as critically endangered or endangered, and a further four now exist only in captivity. This landmark book features stunning photographs of 500 of these species--the results of a prestigious international photographic competition organized specifically for this book. It also showcases paintings by acclaimed wildlife artist Tomasz Cofta of the 75 species for which no photos are known to exist."The World's Rarest Birds" has introductory chapters that explain the threats to birds, the ways threat categories are applied, and the distinction between threat and rarity. The book is divided into seven regional sections--Europe and the Middle East; Africa and Madagascar; Asia; Australasia; Oceanic Islands; North America, Central America, and the Caribbean; and South America. Each section includes an illustrated directory to the bird species under threat there, and gives a concise description of distribution, status, population, key threats, and conservation needs. This one-of-a-kind book also provides coverage of 62 data-deficient species.
Cats have been popular household pets for thousands of years, and their numbers only continue to rise. Today there are three cats for every dog on the planet, and yet cats remain more mysterious, even to their most adoring owners. Unlike dogs, cats evolved as solitary hunters, and, while many have learned to live alongside humans and even feel affection for us, they still don’t quite get us” the way dogs do, and perhaps they never will. But cats have rich emotional lives that we need to respect and understand if they are to thrive in our company. In Cat Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes us further into the mind of the domestic cat than ever before, using cutting-edge scientific research to dispel the myths and explain the true nature of our feline friends. Tracing the cat’s evolution from lone predator to domesticated companion, Bradshaw shows that although cats and humans have been living together for at least eight thousand years, cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of contact with their own kind, qualities that often clash with our modern lifestyles. Cats still have three out of four paws firmly planted in the wild, and within only a few generations can easily revert back to the independent way of life that was the exclusive preserve of their predecessors some 10,000 years ago. Cats are astonishingly flexible, and given the right environment they can adapt to a life of domesticity with their owners—but to continue do so, they will increasingly need our help. If we’re to live in harmony with our cats, Bradshaw explains, we first need to understand their inherited quirks: understanding their body language, keeping their environments—however small—sufficiently interesting, and becoming more proactive in managing both their natural hunting instincts and their relationships with other cats.A must-read for any cat lover, Cat Sense offers humane, penetrating insights about the domestic cat that challenge our most basic assumptions and promise to dramatically improve our pets’ lives—and ours.
The Daylight Gate, an instant bestseller in the UK, is award-winning Jeanette Winterson’s singular vision of a dark period of complicated morality, sex, and tragic plays for power in a time when politics and religion were closely intertwined.After the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, every Catholic conspirator in England fled to a wild, untamed place far from the reach of London law. On Good Friday, 1612, deep in the woods of Pendle Hill, amid baptismal pools and low, thick fog, a gathering of thirteen is interrupted by the local magistrate. Two of their coven have already been imprisoned for witchcraft and are awaiting trial, but those who remain are vouched for by the wealthy and respected Alice Nutter.Shrouded in mystery and gifted with eternally youthful beauty, Alice is established in Lancashire society and insulated by her fortune. Yet she is also plagued by rumors of a dark and torrid love affair with another woman, the matriarch of the notorious Demdike clan. As those accused of witchcraft retreat into darkness, Alice stands alone as a realm-crosser, a conjurer of powers that will either destroy her or set her free.
Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President François Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him.Daniel’s thrill at being in such close proximity to the most powerful man in the land persists even after the presidential party has gone, which is when he discovers that Mitterrand’s black felt hat has been left behind.After a few moments’ soul-searching, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary evening. It’s a perfect fit, and as he leaves the restaurant Daniel begins to feel somehow … different.